If your doctor has recommended continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, the next step is to find the right CPAP machine. CPAP machines, which help keep your airway open while you sleep, are available in a wide range of styles and brands. You can purchase CPAP devices from a store, online, or through your health provider. However, regardless of where you buy it, you’ll need to get a prescription first.

We’ll walk you through what you need to know before shopping for a CPAP machine. We’ll cover how to get a prescription, the different places you can shop for a CPAP machine—including medical supply stores, sleep clinics, and online retailers—and what to know about pricing and insurance coverage. 

What to Keep in Mind Before Buying a CPAP Machine

Before shopping for a CPAP machine, make sure you have a prescription, get to know the different models available, and figure out your payment options.

Getting a Prescription

To buy a CPAP machine, you’ll need a prescription from your doctor. If you haven’t been diagnosed with sleep apnea, talk to your doctor about your symptoms. If your doctor suspects sleep apnea, they may recommend a sleep study to confirm the diagnosis and determine the right type of CPAP machine. These studies can be done in a sleep lab, or in your home with an at-home sleep apnea test.

Pricing and Insurance Coverage

CPAP machines often cost between $500 and $1,000, but price varies based on the type of CPAP machine, brand, and available features. If you don’t have health insurance, you can pay for a CPAP machine out of pocket. In most cases though, insurance will partially or fully cover the cost. That said, insurance plans often have specific requirements you must meet to maintain coverage.

Types of CPAP Machines

There are many different types of positive airway pressure (PAP) machines. While CPAPs are one of the most common, your doctor may also recommend a BiPAP, auto-adjusting CPAP (APAP), or another type. The type of CPAP machine your doctor recommends is based on your individual needs.

Where to Buy a CPAP Machine

Choosing where to buy a CPAP machine is just as important as getting the right model. Whether you choose to buy in a store, sleep clinic, or online, each source has its own pros and cons. Here’s a look at some common places to buy a CPAP machine and what you might expect from each.

Where to Buy a CPAP MachineConsiderations
Sleep ClinicBuying a CPAP machine directly from a sleep clinic ensures you receive expert advice and support. Clinics often offer personalized fittings and demonstrations, helping you feel more confident in the CPAP machine you choose. However, your options might be limited to certain brands or models preferred by the clinic.
Medical Supply StoreMedical supply stores allow you to look at and compare different CPAP machines. Staff can often provide hands-on guidance and answer questions you may have. The downside of medical supply stores is that prices can be higher due to overhead costs.
Health InsurancePurchasing through your health insurance provider can lead to substantial savings if the machine is covered under your plan. This option requires approval and paperwork, and your choices may be limited to specific models that the insurance company agrees to cover.
OnlineShopping online for a CPAP machine gives you the widest selection and the best prices. Many online retailers also provide detailed product reviews and comparisons. However, you may miss out on the personal service and immediate help that brick-and-mortar stores provide. Make sure to look into each store’s return policies and warranty coverage.

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